Dino: 'No more pairing with Bipasha'
He's the leading man of one of this millennium's biggest grossers, but Raaz didn't really help Dino Morea as much as his leading lady Bipasha Basu.
And now three years later, the two are back together in a psycho-thriller.
"Audiences had better rush to see Chehra . It will be my last film with Bipasha, I promise you. I think we've done too many films together and we really need to move ahead, find other co-stars to hitch our wagons. After a point it becomes pointless to be paired with the same co-star," said Dino.
But Dino is sure the pair in Chehra will create fireworks.
"It's a terrific subject. And I play a shrink. Bipasha is my patient. Quite a change from our last film together, Rakht , where she played a clairvoyant and I played a wife beater."
Dino becomes sombre. "I put in so much effort for Rakht . Even braided my hair to look super-villainous. But the director didn't approve. Since I'm a director's actor, off went the braids... When I first heard the script of Chehra , I was excited.
"Sourabh Shukla is an intelligent writer. I was sure he'd make an intelligent film. And he did.
"What worries me is the quiet, unannounced release of Chehra . I hope enough people are interested in it even though it hasn't been publicised. But I really enjoyed working with Sourabh. He's so well organised, knows exactly what he wants. This was one of the most smooth-sailing shootings I've done."
Dino has a lot of goodwill in the industry.
"But I wish the goodwill would translate into big banners. I've turned over a new leaf. Henceforth, I'll only work with reliable producers who'd take my film to its finish and make sure it's well marketed. What's the point of working hard when no one sees the film?"
Dino is excited about three new films he has signed.
"One of them is with producer Pooja Bhatt. This time she moves away from the sexy image that her cinema has got. There's no skin, loads of dancing. I'm excited because I get to dance extensively. My co-star is a new girl called Shruti who also dances very well."
Will audiences mind Dino as a modern-day Mithun Chakbraborty?
"Not at all! Audiences today aren't fixated on images. They like to see actors doing different things. Look at Rani and Amitabh Bachchan in Black ! Do we need further proof of audiences' changing tastes? The one thing they don't want is the same stale formula. And I won't be part of that."
If audiences go to see Dino the dancing star in Pooja Bhatt's film, they'll also get to see Dino the fighter in a film from Sahara to be directed by a newcomer, Marlon.
"They're trying to get the title Hero . That would be cool. And there's Fight Club , another actioner where there're 11 guys in all. Only four of them are good. And guess what, I'm one of the good guys!"
Dino is very hopeful about the future.
"I've made lots of mistakes in the past. But, hey, remember I did Raaz . It was a solo-hero film. But most of the publicity was targeted at Bipasha. I'm very happy for her. She's lucky to be in-demand.
"Sanjay Leela Bhansali has made a truly awesome film. I think he's one of the best directors we have. The industry is going through terrible times. I feel distributors have too much power over our films. They are dictating what should go into films. And finally producers don't get to see profits even when a film does well.
"Every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to make a film. I hear a script practically every day. But nothing I want to do. There're two-three releases every week. That's insane! What's our cinema coming to?"
Otherwise for Dino, life is beautiful. "Right now, I choose to be blissfully single. I like it that way. It gives me time to focus on my career and extra-curricular activities," he grins.